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Despite significant politicization and heated public debates in some major exporting countries, systematic research on public support for arms trade is currently lacking. Combining political economic models of arms trade with the literatures on trade preferences and foreign policy attitudes, we expect preferences of citizens over arms trade policy to exhibit trade-offs: economic incentives, as well as expected security risks are pitted against moral considerations. In order to derive the often implicit weighting between different features of the attitudinal object at the level of citizens, we draw on a population-representative survey with embedded experiments (approx. N=6000), fielded in November/December 2020 with a quota-representative opt-in online panel of Kantar. We focus on the cases of two global top-5 exporting countries of major arms: Germany and France.
This pre-analysis plan presents an overview on our general theoretical framing as well as the hypotheses and related causal quantities of interest we seek to investigate. Further, the experimental design, operationalizations and sample characteristics as well as power analyses are presented in detail. Additional methodological research on the optimal structuring of attributes in conjoint experiments is pre-registered as well.